An application is only helpful if users will adopt the solution. User experience (UX) professionals are tasked with learning about user preferences to help design solutions that are comfortable and intuitive to use. UX researcher focus specifically on gathering the needed data to thoroughly understand user desires, providing key insights to developers as they create a solution, putting them at the front of the development process. Here’s what you need to know about these professionals and how UX researchers lead product development efforts.
If your product doesn’t solve a problem for users, then it isn’t likely they will be quick to adopt the solution. UX researchers work with customers to help identify their needs and requirements for the final product. Often, they must use a variety of techniques to get the proper information. This can involve quick interviews, focus groups, usage diaries, and even usability testing.
Throughout these processes, UX researchers learn what does and doesn’t work for end-users, allowing them to create mockups and reports to help guide the actions of developers as the production cycle moves forward.
Sometimes, UX researchers are given information about a requirement or issue the end-users are experiencing, but not much guidance on how the users would like to see the product change. This means these professionals much be able to analyze the problem to come up with potential solutions. These efforts may be bolstered by a strong understanding of fundamental user behaviors as well as a creative and curious nature.
Once potential solutions are identified, UX researchers often must go back to the end-users for feedback, making changes as necessary to meet their requirements and preferences.
Not all research involves working directly with potential end-users; UX researchers often must look at sources outside of the immediate project for guidance. This can include previous product development efforts, and their associated successes and failures, as well as investigations into competitor products currently on the market.
Why UX Researchers Should Take the Lead
While some of the duties discussed above don’t intuitively need to be completed early in the product development cycle, it is important to realize that placing user experience concerns too late in the design process can be detrimental. If a product is beginning to take shape and is only later found out to not meet the needs of users, it can mean portions of the previous work must be scrapped or the project started over entirely.
By allowing UX researchers to get involved early and drive certain design decisions, you can be sure your developers get everything right the first time or that any needed changes are discovered early in the process.
If you would like to learn more about the value of UX researchers, are interested in hiring one, or are looking for a position in the UX field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to discuss your needs and see how our services can work for you.